People are progressively becoming more fitness-focused, as taking care of our bodies becomes more of a priority in our daily lives. Getting children involved in fitness from a young age is an excellent idea, however high-intensity, weight-based training is discouraged by health experts at such an age. This is often due to the bodily growth children are still undergoing at that age and hence it can make them more susceptible to injuries, such as in their joints. Such injuries can plague a child for the rest of its life, and this is something no parent ever wants to see. This is not to encourage sitting in front of the TV all day, however. Here are a few exercises that are easy, safe and fun ways of developing core strength without putting unnecessary strain on a child’s body.
Exercise 1: Push Ups
Proper technique is to have their hands slightly wider than shoulder-width, positioned at chest level. When pushing upwards, do not lock the elbows. It is also important to keep the back straight in line with their head and legs. Try and get them to do at least five.
Exercise 2: Planking
Similar to the push up, except arms are bent at the elbows with forearm on the ground rather than the hands. Keeping their core tight, looking straight down; try and get them to hold this position for 30 seconds or more.
Exercise 3: Squats
Feet approximately shoulder-width apart, instruct them to bend their knees as if to sit down. Avoid rounding the back; instead the work should be done by the quads (upper legs) and the buttocks. Try and do five reps of these at first with proper technique.
Exercise 4: Lunges
Take a large step forward from a standing position, bend the knee until upper leg is parallel to the ground. The other knee should bend forward too, but the foot should not move. Return to normal standing position, and repeat this time stepping with the other knee. Try and do five reps each side.
Exercise 5: Reverse Crunches
Position your child flat on an exercise mat, back tight against the mat (especially the lower back). Get them to bend their knees to their chest, avoiding craning the neck or excessively elevating the knees/legs (over the head). Upper back and shoulders should maintain as much contact with the mat as possible. Goal should be 10 reps or 10-15 seconds of repetitions.
Once you have taught these moves, they can complete the full routine in a few minutes easily. Doing this 3 times a week will build a great core strength and is much safer than excessive exercise/lifting weights. Remember to combine this with some sort of cardiovascular exercise, for example running, cycling, swimming or sports – all of which are great fun also! As you can see it is easy to make exercise something that is safe, fun and hopefully something your kids will become enthusiastic about, and stay healthy as a result.
From the Team at Archibald Chiropractic Clinics
"Treating the cause, not the symptoms"
Dowry Chiropractic Clinic Established in 1987 – Experienced Bristol Chiropractors